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August 20, 1996


By CBR Staff Writer

Mannesmann AG is looking more and more like an ace telephone company with a dreary and fading steel pipes business attached. Half-time profits, announced yesterday, rose 28%, but that was because strong telecommunications business more than offset losses in its industrial areas, but it forecast only a slight rise for the full year because all the heavy stuff is expected to show a loss. Net profit at Mannesmann rose to the equivalent of $121m, and the company’s management board said it expects profit on ordinary activities to be slightly improved for the full year. For the full year, it expects a rise in profits from the telecommunications division and seasonal improvement in its engineering and plant construction units. Sales were $10,40 0m in the first half, and group orders rose 3.3% to $12,350m. Revenue in the telecommunications business, still primarily the Mannesmann Mobilfunk GmbH cellular phone unit, were up a lusty 57%, with Eurokom just starting up, but the business is sti l a major swallower of investment, and total outlays rose 2% to $805m. Pre-tax profit at the telecommunications division was $227.5m, and automotive technology chipped in $84m. But engineering and plant construction lost $45m, steel tubes and tradin g lost $33m, and other units lost $6.7m. There was also an extraordinary loss of $23m for restructuring. The workforce at June 30 was 120,300, down 3% on the year ago figure.

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